GENEVA – Despite a virus outbreak from China, a senior official from the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that it was far too early to say whether the Tokyo Olympics were at risk of being abandoned or relocated.
Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee have repeatedly stated that they have no contingency plans for July 24 through August 24. 9 summer games since the WHO declared a global health emergency last month.
U.N. Emergency Agency program director Michael Ryan said Tuesday the sporting event was "too far away" to provide advice that would affect Tokyo’s venue for the Olympics.
"We are not here to make a decision," Ryan told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a press conference at WHO headquarters.
The Geneva-based WHO has been in regular contact with the IOC in nearby Lausanne since the virus known as COVID-19 appeared in December.
"We don't give them judgments," said Ryan. "We support you in your risk assessment. We will work closely with them over the coming weeks and months. "
The death toll from mainland China due to the virus rose to nearly 1,900 on Tuesday, with more than 72,000 cases confirmed.
The outbreak has resulted in numerous sporting events in China being canceled, postponed or postponed, including qualifying events for the Tokyo Olympics.
Chinese athletes and teams were also unable to travel for some competitions. China sent a team of more than 400 athletes to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It won 70 medals, including 26 gold medals, and took third place in the medal table.
Around 11,000 athletes and many other team coaches and officials from more than 200 national teams are expected for the Olympic Games in Japan.
Japan has seen the most significant outbreak of the virus outside of China on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has been quarantined in Yokohama, Tokyo Bay.
During a 14-day isolation ending on Wednesday, 542 cases were identified among more than 3,700 passengers and crew.
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